RHINELANDER (WAOW) -- The Rhinelander Police Department unveiled a memorial plaque Wednesday honoring Steve Martin, who passed away almost ten years ago while serving our country in Iraq.
"It's hard to believe," said Patrick Bricco, a friend. "Feels like just yesterday sometimes."
Martin joined the Rhinelander Police Department in 1996.
"He really liked working for the department," said his widow Kathleen Martin. "His fellow co-workers were his family. He just loved the guys and would do anything for them."
Martin would also do anything for his country. In 2004, he went to Iraq.
"[He] trained them how to be cops, how to take care of their streets and basically how to keep their communities safe," said Bricco.
"He was already in the service one other time and then got out of it and then rejoined it after 9/11 because he wanted to do something to help the country," Kathleen Martin said.
Martin was hurt in a suicide bombing attempt and died the next week. Now, almost ten years later, the city Martin called home has put up a memorial in his honor.
"Oh gosh, it just brings everything back," said Kathleen Martin. "It's been so long. Seems like ten years is such a long time but yet it's not."
In this community, his memory lives on.
"What better way to honor a friend of mine than to show up when his community wanted to honor him?" Bricco said. "I know Steve would've done it for us and I felt it was only right that we do it for him."
"It was just so nice that everyone still remembers," said Kathleen Martin. "It's just so nice that everyone still remembers and won't forget. He deserves it."
City leaders say Martin was a big part of creating the police department's bike patrol program as well as the BMX track.
Police officials say Martin was promoted to sergeant while serving overseas but never got the chance to wear the gold badge.